Inspired by the most glamorous and high-profile music events celebrated around the world, Chaumetest une fête is a virtuoso performance in design, fine stones and craftsmanship. The main gem is set centre stage, shining under diamond-bright lights, complemented by a choir of gemstones, all held together by a finely tuned orchestra of gold.
Chaumet est une fête takes us on a whirlwind journey from the grandiose productions of La Scala in Milan to the buzz of the Metropolitan Opera House of New York, on to a summer evening picnic at Glyndebourne to end in the dazzling white elegance of the winter waltzes of Vienna.
First we travel to Milan with the Aria Passionata, to the moment when the red velvet curtains of the most beautiful theatre in the world are about to part. The conductor taps his baton for silence and the hushed expectation explodes into a rhapsody of music.
It’s the La Scala of Maria Callas’ passionate performances embodied in rich red rubies, opulent garnets and rosy tourmalines. In true diva style, rows of sumptuous ruby and onyx beads cascade down the neck, two red flowers in full bloom displaying their glorious beauty to the audience. At their heart, blazing rhodolite garnets are surrounded by a fanfare of rubies, diamonds and lacquer. A bracelet of luscious ruby beads and rhodolite garnets mimics the rich drapes of the velvet, gold-trimmed stage curtains. And there’s drama worthy of a Verdi tragedy in the blood-red garnets that drip from a pair of earrings.
Turning to a very different event, Pastorale Anglaise transports us to a balmy summer night in Sussex. Champagne bottles pop and ball gowns fan out on picnic blankets as meadow flowers waft their sweet scent over the bucolic scene of England’s most eccentric musical extravaganza.
Bringing a very British brand of whimsy to high jewellery, a row of emeralds that encircles the neck is unexpectedly embellished with a billowing, oversized tartan bow. Every part of the drapes and swags of the fabric is set with emeralds, rubies, yellow and blue sapphires and diamonds to create a tartan pattern. I can confidently say that this is the first time I have seen this chequered pattern recreated with such bravado, but there’s more. For the grand finale, a 28.98-carat Colombian Muzo emerald hits the high note in this masterpiece of a ring.
Like Gershwin’s groundbreaking compositions of the 1920s, the Rhapsodie Transatlantique necklace challenges conventional aesthetics with new and wonderful clashes of colour. Harmony gives way to exciting new riffs of dusty pink morganite, cognac Imperial topaz, blushing rose tourmaline, violet tanzanite and olive green chrysoberyl.
After the curtain call, a firework show of diamonds and red garnets on barely there knife-edge settings explodes with joyous rapture. In a ring, a sunset-hued Padparadscha sapphire basks in a halo of red garnets and diamonds. The brave new world of New York shines out from mismatched violet and green sapphire earrings, each stone surrounded by champagne-set diamonds, a setting as random as fizzing bubbles in a glass.
Valses d’Hiver, or winter waltzes, shimmers with the beauty of Vienna’s famous balls. A tiara of sparkling scrolls crowns the head, its delicate tendrils capturing pearls. Diamonds shine out like chandeliers, their light bouncing off swirling ball gowns, the young debutantes’ skin as luminous as the pearls encircling their necks and wrists. Each all-white creation is as delicate as a snowflake, making this my favourite of the three suites.
In these ambitious new est une fête high jewellery creations, Chaumet has skillfully captured the joy and passion that unites these musical extravaganzas in a delicate balance between passionate expression and well-rehearsed mastery. Each jewel is an orchestration of the finest the world has to offer, uniting centuries of tradition with exciting new designs and starring dazzling gemstones. Bravo, Chaumet!